23 August 2012

Do You Know Where Your Resources Are? Professional Association Info Benefits

Librarian, like many professionals, risk becoming so zoned into our professional world we forget to look around: 'What I'm NOT the be all and end all of information?  That's ludicrous talk!'  Librarians have a VERY rapidly changing role in health care and even the name Librarian can cause huge controversy in our world: are we Librarians anymore, Information professionals, Knowledge Managers?  This is just the tip of the iceberg that's melting fast into one overflowing pool of information expertise.  Nevertheless, one thing that I think we all can agree on  is that a MAJOR goal of our profession is to connect people with needed and useful high quality information.  So goodbye are the dreams of grandeur, to thoughts of gate-keeping access to information, and hello to the utopia of flowing (though unfortunately not often free) quality information with your Librarian as guide.

Image courtesy of: Vichy81 & DigitalArt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now, let's traverse into a short tale,  one of a solo-Librarian trying to promote a new Library service to health care staff but restricted by the evil price increases of quality resources and ever-shrinking budgets.  Was there nothing affordable left? Enter a colleague of mine (Ken McFarlan of Lakeridge Health) who nicely pointed out another colleague's work (Gail Nichol from the University of Toronto) titled "Information Resources From Your Professional Association" recently presented at our national conference.  The poster not only lists some of the wonderful and often expensive resources available through your professional body but also the cost-benefit of the dues (if you restricted 'benefit' to info resources available).

This should be great news for Nurses, Physicians and OT's who see an excellent return for their dues whilst the outlook is not as great for Dentists and Pharmacists.  Keep in mind again, this is only taking into account the information resources, not all the other benefits of membership.  It also means mostly good news for the tale of two Librarian evils: rising costs and shrinking budgets;  the happy ending being we can still take on the role of professional and expert guide to these resources even if we may not be able to afford them in our collections.

Thanks again to Gail and Ken and be sure to check out the details offered through your association and/or speak to your Librarian!: "Information Resources From Your Professional Association"